If you have or know someone who has a lifelong illness and has researched alternative solutions, you might have read about Rick Simpson Oil (RSO).
RSO is a high THC full spectrum cannabis oil. Unlike full spectrum CBD oil, which only contains traces of THC, the compound that gets you high.
Read on to learn about RSO and why some people rave about using it.
Who is Rick Simpson?
The oil was developed by a Canadian cannabis activist called Rick Simpson in 2003 after he developed skin cancer and was in the search for alternative solutions.
RSO was initially intended to be a homemade recipe, and Simpson doesn’t sell it. Instead, he supports the idea that people make it themselves using his process, but oils based on the RSO process are now widely available in marijuana dispensaries across legal cannabis states.
Rick claims RSO treated his skin cancer, resulting in the clearance of his lesions and remedying his health.
Given the publicity and anecdotal reports of his use, the product has gained cult-like status with people suffering from cancer and other lifelong conditions.
What does research say about RSO?
While multiple pre-clinical studies signal cannabis has potential anti-tumor properties when treating animals, tests in labs and animals don’t necessarily mirror successes in humans.
Overall, hundreds of research studies have explored the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of cancer, and none have found enough consistent evidence that cannabis can treat cancer outside of animal models.
Although, research indicates cannabis can help relieve some of the side effects of cancer, and in particular, reduce nausea and help increase appetite.
Research also suggests different types of cancers respond uniquely to cannabinoids, and there isn’t a single approach that has the same effect across the disease regardless of severity.
One study from 2013 analysed the report that a 14-year-old girl with leukaemia was treated with RSO. The girls family reached out to Simpson in order to create a full spectrum cannabis extract, in parallel to using other cannabis oils.
The report suggests the cannabis oils helped treat her cancer, but the girl died from an unrelated condition shortly thereafter. Although, given the circumstances around the treatment, it’s difficult to assert what exactly helped the patient.
Overall, research suggests that cannabinoids are potent agents which work in harmony with the endocannabinoid system, supporting other internal systems. However, the use of RSO for cancer needs exploring beyond the set of studies carried out to date.
How to make RSO
This relatively simple process yields a high THC oil, which contains terpenes, cannabinoids and flavonoids – a full plant cannabis extract.
CBD Oil vs RSO
CBD Oil is derived from hemp and contains little if any THC. On the other hand, RSO is a product of marijuana, which is high in THC.
RSO has a strong psychoactive effect, and the exact percentage of THC will dictate how strong of an effect this is. While CBD oil is non-psychotropic, and it will not get you high regardless of how much you use.
Risks and side effects of using RSO
Being high in THC, RSO carries the same risks as high THC cannabis. In particular, individuals predisposed to mental illness are at an increased likelihood of suffering a psychotic episode using high levels of THC.
Other potential side effects include:
- Confusion by being ‘high’